Feature journalism, sometimes known as soft news, allows journalists to incorporate narrative abilities and creativity into their reporting.
Unlike conventional news reporting, feature writing focuses on captivating and entertaining the audience while exploring diverse subjects, individuals, or occurrences in depth.
In this blog, we will explore what a feature story is and how it is different from news reporting.
Comprehending Feature Journalism
Feature journalism is an engaging and flexible style of reporting that enables authors to demonstrate their imagination and narrative abilities. It’s the domain where you may combine information with style, crafting stories that engage readers.
The core of feature writing lies in its capacity to educate, entertain, inform, and captivate the viewer through immersive storytelling.
Unlike news articles, feature stories are not time-limited, giving writers the freedom to explore a variety of topics, such as current events, timeless subjects, social issues, or intriguing human interest stories.
You can find feature stories in several publications, including local and national newspapers, periodicals like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and the growing world of internet publications.
The appeal of feature writing resides in its ability to engage readers in a realm where facts and emotions come together to make a lasting impression.
Distinctions Between Features and News Stories
In order to fully understand feature journalism, it is essential to differentiate it from news reporting:
Size and Importance:
News reports are usually brief and direct, concentrating on delivering information effectively. On the other hand, characteristics can have a greater length, enabling authors to engage readers in the narrative entirely.
The focus in feature writing is not only on narrating the topic but also on illustrating it with vivid descriptions and captivating tales.
News is prompt and current, offering up-to-date information. On the other hand, features might be long-lasting or current, staying essential and engaging for many years.
A perennial characteristic has the distinct attribute of maintaining its significance even after an extended period, making it an excellent resource for publications.
Feature writing allows us greater flexibility in terms of style and structure. It frequently uses storytelling methods, like descriptive introductions, character growth, and storyline, to captivate readers emotionally.
While news stories mainly concentrate on providing information, feature writers have the artistic liberty to elicit feelings, encourage empathy, and provide a more profound comprehension of the topic.
Advice for Creating Engaging Feature Articles
Now that we have a better grasp of feature journalism, let’s examine some valuable suggestions to assist you in creating engaging feature stories that connect with your readers.
1. Select Your Style and Subject
One of the initial stages in composing a feature piece is to choose your style and topic. Characteristics are available in different forms, each presenting a distinct method of narrative.
The style you use should match the preferences of your readership and the publication you are writing for. Here are some typical feature types to think about:
Explore the lives and experiences of fascinating individuals, such as writers, singers, business owners, or community figures.
Stories of people:
Discover the remarkable experiences, successes, and difficulties of regular individuals, providing readers with a look into the nature of being human.
These are well-liked and fun to write, discussing subjects such as home decoration, fashion, recreational activities, and trends that appeal to a particular way of life.
In-Depth News Features:
Explore important societal issues or occurrences, providing insight into crucial matters that require attention and action.
Interviews and Q&A:
Carry out informative interviews with specialists, famous people, or those with distinct viewpoints and expertise.
Discover new trends or changes in culture, technology, or society, offering readers valuable insights.
Contribute knowledge and expertise on particular topics, providing readers with helpful advice and solutions.
Provide customers who enjoy food with engaging narratives about cooking, culinary adventures, and dining experiences.
Examine organizations, entrepreneurs, or industries, revealing stories of success, difficulties, and advancements.
Take readers on a journey to diverse locations, allowing them to fully appreciate the beauty, culture, and unique aspects of different places.
2. Conduct thorough research and pay attention to details.
Thorough research is the foundation of engaging feature writing. In order to create an engaging narrative, it is necessary to collect a significant amount of background knowledge on the topic you are writing about. This study could cover different aspects:
Research on a more prominent topic:
Gain a better understanding of the broader context or historical background of the subject you are discussing.
If your feature focuses on a person’s accomplishments or past, explore their history. Examine their early years, background, schooling, and life encounters that have influenced their present identity.
Insights from Behind the Scenes:
Don’t hesitate to request information on what happens behind the scenes. Frequently, these specificities can reveal noteworthy aspects of your narrative that would otherwise stay concealed.
3. Carry out face-to-face interviews
If feasible, arrange face-to-face interviews with your subjects. In-person interactions provide vital insights and chances to engage with the folks you are writing about.
4. Include a Start, Middle, and Excellent Conclusion
The organization of a feature piece is essential to its effectiveness. Feature introductions, commonly known as delayed, narrative, or anecdotal introductions, act as the entrance to your story.
In a feature article, you have the advantage of having sufficient time to introduce readers to the story gradually. The size of your introduction might differ, with lengthier pieces allowing for multiple paragraphs to create the atmosphere and tone.
The central part of the feature is where you construct the story. Make sure it has all the necessary components of a story, such as:
Depict the surroundings or place where the story takes place, creating a clear image for readers.
Create scenes that take readers into the story, helping them imagine the events and interactions.
Incorporate activities and occurrences that propel the narrative, sustaining the readers’ engagement.
Conflict or Challenge:
Present difficulties, clashes, or hurdles that the characters must face, enhancing the complexity of the story.
Readers should become familiar with the characters on a personal level, comprehending their reasons, feelings, and encounters.
5. Utilize expressive vocabulary and enjoy the process
The appeal of feature journalism lies in its capacity to captivate readers’ senses and emotions. To accomplish this:
- Retrieve your notes and vividly remember the specifics of every scene you came across during your research and interviews.
- Enhance the sensory experience by depicting visual elements, auditory stimuli, various hues, scents, tactile sensations, and dimensions.
- Provide precise details in your explanations, constructing a vivid encounter for your readers.
Think about questions such as:
What is the height of that large metal pink flamingo?
What color of red was the floor-length gown—poppy red or crimson?
Which way does the picture window face?
Is the chair an old Eames rocker or a modern reproduction?
Educating and enhancing
The journey to becoming skilled in feature journalism is filled with practice and gaining knowledge from seasoned writers. A practical method to improve your skills is to analyze the work of accomplished and skilled feature writers.
Examine their writing styles, narrative tactics, and approaches to storytelling. By engaging with the work of experienced feature journalists, you can acquire vital knowledge and further enhance your skills.
Overall, feature journalism is an engaging way of storytelling that enables authors to captivate, entertain, and educate their readers through immersive narratives.
By using these suggestions and consistently improving your abilities, you may create feature pieces that have a long-lasting effect on readers.
Writing feature articles is a skill that can be honed with commitment and repetition, allowing you to engage your readers with each article you produce.